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Published: February 5, 2016
Mexico Bass Fishing Trip Planning Q & A with MLF Commissioner Don Rucks
The U.S. is dotted with epic bass fishing destinations, but sometimes the grass is greener across the border; if bass fishing Mexico is on your bucket list, heed the advice from a man who has been there, done that, and continues to go back
MLF commissioner Don Rucks shows off a nice largemouth bass – one of many – he caught on a bass fishing trip to Mexico with outfitter Ron Speed Jr.'s Adventures. (Photo courtesy of Don Rucks)
By: MLF Communications
In the world of bass fishing, there may be no better major-league destination on the planet than the red-hot action found south of the Rio Grande River in old Mexico.
Starting many years ago with the fish-every-cast action found on storied Lake Guerrero, bass catching opportunities in Mexico have steadily expanded to include a number of fabled lakes offering mind-boggling numbers, double-digit weights, stunningly gorgeous waters, and the warm, delicious food and hospitality found south of the border.
Long a fan of the tremendous bass-catching action found in Mexico, Major League Fishing commissioner Don Rucks recently toured the region again and found the fishing to be as spectacular as ever.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: How many Mexico bass fishing trips have you been on over the years?
Commissioner Rucks: I’ve been really fortunate to have experienced the excellent bass fishing Mexico offers on at least a dozen different week-long trips over the last 20 years. My most recent trip took place in January 2016.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: With a number of good U.S. fisheries, why travel all the way to Mexico to go bass fishing?
Commissioner Rucks: Bass fishing just doesn’t get any better in the world than it is in Mexico. Period.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: What is the largest bass you have ever caught in Mexico?
Commissioner Rucks: I can’t tell you how many nice fish I have caught in the 7- and 8-pound range, but my personal best so far is 9 pounds. I know for certain I have hooked and lost some heavier giants in the 10-, 12- and possibly even the 14-pound class. Plain and simple, those bigger Mexico bass just whipped my tail.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Is it true regarding the large numbers of bass that a person can catch?
Commissioner Rucks: Each Mexico bass lake is different and offers its own positive results. My all-time favorite lake is Lake Comedero, because, in my opinion, it offers the best chance of catching a huge bass. At Comedero you will typically catch about 60 bass a day per boat, but odds are you will catch a higher rate of quality lunkers, since the lake record is a 19-pound, 6-ounce bass.
At Lake El Salto, you will catch a few more bass per day and still have a great chance to catch a mega bass.
Lake Picachos is fairly new and I just returned from there where our group was catching 150 to 200 bass per boat per day. Really, no kidding!
The numbers were awesome at Picachos with most of the fish being in the 2- to 5-pound class. There are few big bass being caught up to 10 pounds. Bass weights will continue to increase and catching double-digit bass will become more frequent as the lake matures.
Keep in mind, everything you will hear about Lake Picachos in the near future is probably going to be understated because it's that good. It's a great, great place to fish and is one of the up-and-coming lakes in Mexico.
But the truth is that you really can’t go wrong with any of these lakes that I've mentioned.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: What are your personal favorite baits to use in Mexico?
Commissioner Rucks: There are many baits that will catch them. The best way I can answer the question is to say if I could only take with me four different kinds of baits, I would pack watermelon/red magnum lizards, watermelon/red flukes, chartreuse/white 1-ounce spinnerbaits and a chugger type of topwater bait. You can really catch bass on these Mexico lakes with those four baits. Period, that's all you need.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: What time zone is an angler in when fishing on these Mexico lakes?
Commissioner Rucks: The three lakes I spoke about are all located in the Mountain Time zone. I live in the Central Time zone, so it is a comfortable one-hour time difference for me.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Why is Lake Comedero your own favorite choice?
Commissioner Rucks: If I could only go to one Mexico lake year after year, I would make it Lake Comedero, hands down. If you are looking for a real Mexico fishing adventure, then Lake Comedero is the place to go, in my opinion.
Once you arrive at the lake, you realize you are at a beautiful, remote destination surrounded by a warm, true Mexican community. The lake's setting is in the Sierra Madre Mountains and it is absolutely beautiful.
I have hooked more big bass on this lake than any of the others I've been able to fish. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but every time I return back home from a trip to Lake Comedero, I feel like I have been on more than just a fishing trip; I've been on a real adventure.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Is there a particular outfitter that you prefer to use for your bass fishing trips to Mexico?
Commissioner Rucks: Absolutely. With complete confidence, I can say I always choose Ron Speed Jr.’s Adventures for my Mexico bass fishing trips. I have used Ron Speed Jr. for all of my personal trips with the exception of one or two outings many years ago. Anglers can be assured when they take a Ron Speed Jr.’s Adventures trip, they are definitely going with the very, very best in the business.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: What is it that you like so much about Ron Speed Jr.’s Adventures?
Commissioner Rucks: Ron Speed Sr. spent 43 years in business in Mexico and is considered one of the earliest pioneers for Mexico bass fishing with full service lodging, boats, guides, etc. He understood everything about the business, including the culture of Mexico, not just the fishing and service.
Ron Sr. was the pioneer on Lake Guerrero as he built the first two lodges, El Sargento and La Retama, when the lake first opened. Along the way, he taught his son Ron Jr. everything about the operation. Ron Jr. is now in his 29th year of business.
These guys together have been doing it right for a very long time and they know what they are doing. You are completely taken care of from the minute you show up at the airport in Mazatlán until you return to board the plane for your flight back home.
Simply put, Ron Speed Jr. and his folks know how to send me and my friends back home happy. His staff, guides, boats and everything else in between is really great.
The purified ice and bottled water is completely safe to drink. Each day you get a full breakfast and lunch, complimentary margaritas and hors d’oeuvres along with an absolute feast for dinner every evening.
The small quaint accommodations on Lake Comedero are somewhat rustic, but still very comfortable and just perfect for allowing you to fish this world-class fishery. I just love this place!
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Did you feel safe on your recent trip in January?
Commissioner Rucks: Completely safe. There wasn’t one single time during the entire length of the trip where I thought I had anything to be concerned about. I felt very comfortable which allowed me to stay focused on catching bass. Ron Speed Jr.’s Adventures is always working to make sure that it stays just that way.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Do you pay for the trip in U.S. dollars or do you have to convert the money to pesos?
Commissioner Rucks: You can use U.S. dollars for everything, including the guide’s daily tips.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Is there cell service and Wi-Fi available?
Commissioner Rucks: It will depend on the particular lake that you choose to fish. Lake Comedero currently does not have cell service or Wi-Fi but the camp does have a satellite phone that you can use to call back home. Lake Picachos does offer Wi-Fi service and also provides a satellite phone for calls. It’s been a while since I have been to Lake El Salto, so I can’t speak about the capabilities there.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: Do any of the MLF anglers like to fish in Mexico?
Commissioner Rucks: Oh, yes, I know Alton Jones loves to fish in Mexico and does so quite often. I think most all of the MLF pros have probably been there at some point in time. And, I know specifically Denny Brauer and Kurt Dove were going to be at Lake Comedero a week after I was there in January.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: How many days do you stay and fish on your trips to Mexico?
Commissioner Rucks: Every trip I have taken has been for seven days of fishing. Sometimes that has been all on the same lake and at other times, like with my last trip, I have split it up between Lake Comedero and Lake Picachos. You can choose to fish three-, four- or seven-day trips, so it is flexible for any situation. I love the seven-day gigs because I just can’t get enough of the total experience there.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: What time of the year is best when going to these particular lakes?
Commissioner Rucks: The spawn usually occurs, depending on the particular lake we're discussing, sometime from January through March. But the bass action is awesome any of month you choose to go. For Sinaloa, which is the state where all three of these lakes are located, the rainy season normally starts in mid to late June ... ends late August, early September. However, the tropical storm/hurricane season begins in late August and normally ends late October or early November. It’s usually pretty dry from November through May, early June.
MajorLeagueFishing.com: When do you personally plan to return to Mexico for another bass fishing adventure trip?
Commissioner Rucks: As soon as I can. In fact, I have already begun planning for the next one.